Five Qatar Airways Cargo freighters departed to China carrying approximately 300 tonnes of medical supplies donated by the airline to support relief for people affected by the 2019 novel coronavirus or COVID-19.

The five flights departed one after the other bound for Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou as part of the Qatar Airways voluntary offer of free air cargo transportation for medical relief aid organised by Chinese embassies and consulates worldwide to fight the coronavirus emergency.

Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive HE Akbar Al Baker said that when the crisis started, they knew they had to contribute to support China.

As one of the leading air cargo carriers in the world, we are in a unique position to provide immediate humanitarian support through the provision of aircraft and medical supplies as well as coordinating logistical arrangements.

He said that by working with the Chinese Embassy in Qatar, they hope that their combined efforts can help limit the spread of the virus, ease the burden on local medical personnel and provide relief to the impacted communities in China.

The Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China in the State of Qatar, HE Zhou Jian, who attended the convoy’s departure along with Qatar Airways GCEO, said at a critical moment when Chinese people are fighting against the Coronavirus, Qatar Airways has opened a ‘Green Channel’ for donating and transporting medical supplies to China.

This is a channel of love, friendship, solidarity and hope. We are deeply grateful for that.

He said that the kindness of Qatar fully reflects the fraternal friendship that the Qatari government and the people of Qatar have for the Chinese people. It is also a symbol of Qatar’s internationalism and a symbol of solidarity among the international community to stand together in the face of difficulties. The ambassador extended his most sincere thanks to the Qatari people on behalf of the Chinese government and the Chinese people.

The convoy follows an earlier batch of critical medical relief aid transported by Qatar Airways Cargo to Shanghai earlier this month. The shipment included 100,000 medical-grade N95 respiratory masks and 2,700 medical-grade disposable latex gloves, providing essential protection to healthcare professionals working around the clock at hospitals in Hubei Province, the epicentre of the virus. The airline is planning to transport additional donations in the coming weeks.

The ‘Green Channel’ initiative for complimentary air transportation was announced jointly by Qatar Airways and the Chinese Embassy in Qatar on 7 February. Qatar Airways is the first international airline to volunteer emergency relief flight delivery.

Qatar Airways is also working closely with the World Health Organization and local authorities worldwide to safeguard the health and safety of its employees and passengers. Its modern fleet is protected with High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration systems, eliminating 99.97% of fine airborne particles from circulating air in cabins, greatly restricting the spread of airborne fungi, viruses and bacteria.

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